Lezsek Balcerowicz, architect of the “shock therapy” approach that introduced a market economy in Poland, will deliver a lecture about the current financial crisis in Europe and the future of the European economy at the Ford School of Public Policy on Wednesday, October 26 at 4:00 PM. Under Balcerowicz’s leadership as Finance Minister, Poland transitioned from a socialist to capitalist economy. Poland now has one of the healthiest economies in the European Union, and is the only EU country that maintained positive GDP growth through the 2008-09 global economic crisis. Professor Balcerowicz will draw on his expertise to examine the moment-to-moment developments in Europe and comment on events of the day.

Leszek Balcerowicz graduated with distinction from the Foreign Trade Faculty at the Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw, earned an M.B.A. at St. John’s University in New York, and a Ph.D. in economics from the Warsaw School of Economics. Having served as both finance minister and deputy prime minister of Poland during key transitional years, as well as president of the Polish National Bank, he oversaw a sweeping program of economic reform as his country successfully transitioned to a market economy. In 2005, President Aleksander Kwasniewski awarded Balcerowicz with the country’s highest decoration, the Order of the White Eagle, for his contribution to Poland’s economic transformation. He is currently a member of the group of trustees of the Institute of International Finance and professor of economics at the Warsaw School of Economics.

PLACE: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Annenberg Auditorium, 1120 Weill Hall, 735 S. State, Ann Arbor

SPONSORS: Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, International Policy Center, Center for European Studies, and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED) combines academics with practical applications. The center promotes scholarship to better understand the conditions and policies that foster the transition from autocratic rule to democratic governance, past and present. It also educates new generations of practitioners who can apply their learning and experience to help extend democratic freedoms. Initially focusing on transitions in Europe and Eurasia, it will subsequently expand its scope to other emerging democracies across the globe. For more information, visit www.ii.umich.edu/wced.

The International Policy Center (IPC) was established at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in the fall of 2005. IPC is devoted to interdisciplinary research and education that advances the learning of Michigan faculty and students and informs policy makers on policy issues arising from an increasingly globalized world. In particular, the goal of IPC’s work is to demonstrate how in an interdependent world well-designed policies of governments and international institutions can improve the welfare of people, especially those in developing nations.  For more information, visit www.ipc.umich.edu.